After being locked away in a cave to watch Netflix and play Dark Souls for you guys, our author embarks on a great adventure to hunt treasures and climb things.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Let’s get something out of the way first:
I usually don’t gush about graphics but holy crap on a cracker, this might actually be the most beautiful game I’ve ever played! Superb facial animations achieved with the very best in motion-capture technology, make this one the most photorealistic experiences in gaming to this day.
And all of that without falling into the uncanny valley. Which you should read up upon if you’re into gaming!
But let’s circle back a bit.
Naughty Dog’s latest entry in the Uncharted-Series starts with Nate having let go of his gun and climbing gear. But naturally things don’t stay calm for him and his wife, Elena. Reunited with his brother after fifteen years they race an old partner for the biggest pirate treasure of all time. Of course things don’t go so well for the Drakes, leading to them enlisting all the help they can get from Sully and Elena. From Italy to Scotland and into the wilderness of Madagascar, the game shows off gorgeous landscapes and action set-pieces, introducing new mechanics like the grapple to swing around and land on your enemies, as well as drivable vehicles in large open environments. Which is something I really appreciated. Being able to free-roam and discover cool secrets and easter-eggs is a nice change of structure for the series and provided me with more opportunities to mess up my swinging around on ropes and practice the well implemented stealth mechanics before the next enemy encounter.
But let us leave the technical side for now, as most people play an Uncharted game for the story.
Even though I have to admit, that the last game’s story left me incredibly unsatisfied (but by no means being a bad game), this one really nailed it!
A nice bit of tutorial and exposition to get us started, but after that the story picks up pace and continues to alternate between platforming, enemy encounters, and story driven puzzles. But the story’s biggest strength are the characters, their development and contribution to the story.
Nathan, feels unfulfilled in his boring and normal life (he actually starts playing with a toy gun in the attic at some point), but through hard falls and one or two gunshot wounds he realizes what’s important in life.
His brother driven by the lure of adventure and riches, Sully always in it to save Nate’s ass and Elena for almost the same reasons as her husband.
But after some praise, it’s time to run down the ‚shit-that-exists-to-make-me-pissed-list‘ and on that note, I’m glad that the guy who paints climbable ledges in the middle of nowhere is still getting work. More seriously though, it’s really unfortunate that the promising opening and following first two acts (both ending with incredible action-sequences) lead into such a tedious and slow third act. After concluding an important story and action heavy moment at the end of Act 2, the game throws yet another flashback in my face, bringing the story to a complete stop only to continue with boring puzzles and uninspired environments. Crawling tiredly towards the inevitable end of Nathan Drake’s story, the game had me worried that it blew every bit of energy it had, too early in it’s story. After climbing the cliffs of Scotland’s coast and an exhilarating car chase down the hills of Kings Bay, the story had pumped me with energy only to throw a brick-wall into my face right when I was sure that this was a great game.
And it still is!
After I chewed myself through tedious waves of enemy skulls, the game gave me the most important part: A kick-ass ending! The first good final boss in the series and a satisfying ending in Nate’s journey.
And I won’t say anything else, because just like Undertale or The Witcher 3, it’s a story best experienced for yourself. And for all of us longing for a great adventure, there’s nothing I can’t recommend with Uncharted 4.
Oh and I’m not telling you about multiplayer. I’m not buying PS+ just for that!
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Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End by Naughty Dog Inc. is out now on PS4.
Beitragsbild: Kevin Wendlandt
Fotos: Naughty Dog Inc, Sony Computer Entertainment America